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Mr Fox

Stargate Atlantis thought

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So I was thinking...

There are a couple things that bother me about the chronology.

First and less important, weren't the Goa'uld on Earth 10,000 years ago? So when the Lanteans fled the Pegasus galaxy from the Wraith wouldn't they have walked face first into an Earth occupied by Goa'uld? We know from certain references that the Goa'uld have been running around the Milky Way galaxy for around 20,000 years. It's possible that they hadn't quite reached earth 10,000 years ago, but I thought Daniel Jackson or someone mentioned them being in Egypt around that time.

Second, and far more interesting to me. We know that the Lanteans fled Earth roughly 10,000,000 years ago from a plague (probably started by the Ori). They went to the Pegasus galaxy and all they had with them was what was in Atlantis at the time. Their entire civilization.

So to me that means Atlantis would necessarily have the capability of manufacturing ZPMs. Or at the very least they had the manufacturing capability of making the tools necessary to make them when they arrived, but it makes a lot more sense to me that they would have the ability to make them in the city, it was the very center of their civilization after all.

I would imagine that making them would be some seriously advanced knowledge and not something that Rodney and company would just be able to pick right up and there was the issue with language. The database wouldn't know English, and it took a while in the series before they were in a position to even access the big database, but still, it seems to me that learning how to make ZPMs would be at the very top of the list of things to be investigated. Of course for plot reasons you couldn't have Earth acquiring unlimited massive power sources that would give them an edge over every enemy, that wouldn't be good drama, but from a realistic standpoint I would think that would be exactly what the Earth folks would have wanted to do above all else.

In the episode where Weir goes back in time she missed a golden opportunity to ask that very question. Janus could have left a big ear-mark in the database pointing to the knowledge of how to build them. There wasn't much time for that in the episode, but I think there was enough, the did an awful lot of other things in a very short time after all.

Thoughts?

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The Goa'uld were in control of Earth 5,000 years ago, and might have been there a bit before that, but the Alterans came well before them. Also, the Lanteans didn't flee Earth. They eventually fled to Earth, from the Wraith, then died of a menegitis-like plague or ascended. Atlantis was abandoned when they sought refuge on Earth. They fled their homeworld however long ago, but that wasn't Earth. They originated in a different galaxy.

The Alteran-made replicators (I forget the name) certainly had the capability to make ZPMs, and their civilization looked like a number of city-ships linked together, so Atlantis most likely does have the capability to manufacture them. However, that's like saying if you loose a group from the Roman era into a modern city that they'd have any idea how to make batteries or turn on a nuclear power plant (or even know what it was). The database has all the information of a multi-billion year civilization. Even if they found the blueprints for how to make them, they'd need to process through all advancements they'd have to learn and understand in order to make it up to being able to produce a ZPM.

As for the Weir-back-in-time episode, it was poorly written at best and also had a focus on time running out. Weir had other things on her mind and the Alterans were never exactly friendly in the show. Some of the Ascended were, but only by going against the very core of their civilization's moral tenets.

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Went back and watched several key episodes again last night. They left Earth "several million years ago" and Daniel Jackson commented something to the effect that 'we know they were suffering from a plague'. The plague happened before they left earth going to Pegasus. The Ancient they found under the Ice that had the plague was presumably from the original civilization. I also think that during one of the Ori episodes they speculated that the plague that wiped out the ancients original civilization was probably the Ori plague.

You are very probably right about the time on the Gou'ald being on earth more like 5000 years ago.

You are also right about them being like stone age people suddenly loosed into a modern city, but... They did know what to look for. McKay and the earth folks knew the principle on which the ZPMs worked and they had access to the database of the ancients. It might not be easy, but I would think in a real world situation (rather than a plot driven one) they would focus every possible effort on seeking out the specific knowledge of how to do it. Keep in mind you don't have to know everything about how an internal combustion engine works in order to drive a car. If Atlantis had the facilities to make ZPMs they might just need to know where it is and what buttons to push. Remember the lab from the replicator episode where Rodney programs in the human form replicator and it is basically materialized from component atoms.

I definitely agree with you that there are big holes in some of their story.

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Yes, there are big holes. You're also only seeing the first four or five years of their time there, most of which is spent fighting the Wraith. They were out on missions and simply busy with other tasks, would be the logical explanation. While you had some of the best and brightest of Earth there, still only a few of them had a great deal of natural talent when working with Ancient technology, and those people were the ones most often out on missions.

But yes, most of the issue was plot-created because the writers/producers weren't willing to make some final adjustments to the situation of the SG program, which makes me sad because they could have done a really cool conversion in SG-1 from a 'secret' sci-fi show over to a 'how does Earth as a whole transition into a major galatic/multi-galactic power'? I've never seen that sort of storyline and it could have been awesome. It also might have made SGU more palatable to older SG fans and garnered some new fans that enjoyed shows like Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, and Deep Space 9.

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Watching Moebius episode now... you were right. Gou'ald were on Earth 5,000 years ago. Ancients had long since gone or ascended by then.

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